Google is partnering with Lenovo to release its Series One meeting room kits for its videoconferencing platform Google Meet.
The hardware bundle – made exclusively for Google Meet – includes the Smart Audio Bar using onboard Google Edge TPUs with noise cancellation technology, a 4K PTZ camera, the Google Meet compute system, a touchscreen control panel, Mic Pod for larger rooms and other conference room technologies like Power-over-Ethernet.
TJ Varghese, a group product manager for Google Meet hardware, wrote in a blog that companies are planning for a mix or remote and in-person work environments. Conference rooms have to account for social distancing and be inclusive of remote workers.
“Series One is designed for this and comes with the best of Google AI built in—people can join meetings touch free with their voice, enjoy studio-grade audio through enhanced noise cancellation, and benefit from smart capabilities like automatic participant framing,” Varghese writes.
The Google Meet Compute System included in the kit is purpose-built for Meet on Chrome OS, so setup and installation is easy for IT teams. Everything is securely managed through the Google Admin console, including setup, status checks and minor issue resolution without having to visit the room. Each kit can sense the number of people in each room and the frequency of use.
The kits also use Google’s latest artificial intelligence technology to bring enhanced clarity to end users. That technology includes Google’s TrueVoice noise cancellation and voice amplification technology.
The Smart Audio Bar uses 8 beam-forming microphones, and larger kits can process up to 44 channels simultaneously to help filter out distracting sounds while focusing on voices.;
Each kit includes a regular or extra large 4K smart camera, allowing for automatic participant framing without loss of quality.
The kits will be available for purchase in the coming months, and interested organizations should contact Lenovo for purchasing information, Google says.
Google has had to play catchup with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others, both of which are already staples in the conference room and boast a litany of hardware partnerships for AV professionals and IT departments to choose from.
However, the company in May released hardware kits with Asus designed for remote work and has released several new features to improve the platform, like noise cancelation, better admin controls, improved security, new user interfaces and other enhancements.